As a member of the media, I feel a responsibility to break this news gently to avoid a stampede in certain quarters. So let’s take it in two, easy-to-digest bites:
1. Texas’ Blue Bell ice cream will return to Charlotte-area stores Monday.
And 2. They’re returning in time to debut the newest flavor, Camo ‘N Cream. Yes, as in camouflage ice cream.
I told you: Try to stay calm. No, Blue Bell didn’t set out to make a camouflage-themed ice cream. When your company has fought its way back from a very bad outbreak of listeria contamination that shut down the entire brand, you should proceed carefully before allowing people to make you the target of jokes.
So how did they come up with this? Apparently, the research and development team at Texas-based Blue Bell spends a lot of time coming up with flavor combinations (these are the people behind the cult-followed Banana Split flavor. after all). According to a Blue Bell spokesperson, someone came up with the idea to combine chocolate, pistachio almond and cream cheese-flavored ice creams. But when they put it together, they couldn’t help noticing the resemblance to a certain green/brown/gray combination that gets particularly popular during hunting season. Or New York Fashion Week: Our style editor, Helen Schwab, notes that Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 4 collection included camouflage on one of the few fully clothed models.
When we opened a half-gallon of the ice cream, we wondered at first why they didn’t call it Camo Swirl. The three flavors are twirled in an affect that looks a bit like Dorothy’s first steps on the Yellow Brick Road, if she had started her journey in Kansas during dove-hunting season. But indeed, if you take an ice cream scoop and drag it across the top of the ice cream, the scoop you create does look a bit like the camo combination.
How does it taste? If you’re a fan of pistachio pudding, you’ll recognize the flavor of the green ice cream. Big chunks of very crunchy almonds give it welcome texture. The chocolate is milk chocolate, a bit bland for our tastes. But the real winner here is the cream: Cream cheese ice cream, it turns out, has a tang that’s a little like Greek yogurt turned into ice cream, and it balances the other two flavors nicely.
Flipping through cake-order books at small-town bakeries, like the Sweet Shop in Albemarle, we have been surprised to find out that there is a demand for camouflage-themed cakes. So it’s good to know there is now an ice cream to go with them. The price ranges from $7.29 to $7.59 per half-gallon.
Blue Bell’s many flavors, including Camo ‘N Cream, should be in supermarkets all around the area starting soon. Something tells us the Camo ‘N Cream won’t be hard to spot.